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About Dr Hannah Ewence

I am a specialist in the spatial history of minorities in modern Britain. I have conducted research into the space-specific experience of Jewish, Belgian, Afro-Caribbean, and Indian migration to and through Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth century. I have also written about London’s immigrant quarters, Cheshire’s response to refugees, and the experience of minorities in British suburbia.

More recently, I have begun to turn my attention to the spatial dimensions of Britain’s imperial past, examining how legacies of empire manifest in the urban landscape.  

I completed a BA in History at the University of Southampton in 2005 before becoming affiliated with the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations for my onward postgraduate studies at the university. I was awarded an AHRC-funded MA in Jewish Culture and History in 2007, and an AHRC-funded PhD in 2010.

Before joining the University of Chester in 2012, I held parallel positions at the universities of Southampton and Portsmouth as a Visiting Lecturer in Modern History. In 2011/12, I was awarded a Rothschild Foundation Research Fellowship to conduct research into the suburbanisation of the Jewish and Afro-Caribbean communities in twentieth century Britain.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute. I also sit on the committee of the British and Irish Association for Jewish Studies (BIAJS). 

Alongside my position as Senior Lecturer within the Department of History and Archaeology, I am also the the Senior University Teaching Fellow of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. I am keen to champion best practice, innovation and creativity within all areas of learning and teaching. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching

I lead the following modules:

  • The Rise of Multicultural Britain: Race, Immigration and National Identity (Level 4)
  • The End of Empire: Britain, Imperialism and the Post-Colonial World (Level 5)
  • Gritty City, Urban Wonderland: The Rise of the Modern Metropolis (Level 6)
  • Historical Sources: Gritty City, Urban Wonderland: The Rise of the Modern Metropolis (Level 6)
  • The Aliens Act: Britain and Immigration at the Fin de Siècle (Level 7)
  • Minorities in Modern Wartime (Level 7)

I contribute to the following modules:

  • Turning Points in History: Europe and the Wider World, 1000-2000 (Level 4)
  • Constructing History (Level 4)
  • Journeys into the Past (Level 5)
  • Research Methods and Skills in History (Level 7)
  • Approaches to Historiography (Level 7)

Research

My research interests lie broadly within minority studies, and the modern histories of migration within and to the western world.

I have written and published most extensively on British-Jewish history from the late nineteenth century through to the twenty first century, and on responses to immigrants and refugees arriving in Britain from elsewhere. My first monograph examined cultural and socio-political representations of Eastern European Jews travelling to and arriving in Britain, arguing that anxiety about migrant Jews expressed itself differently across the different sites associated with migration, such as border zones, ports and points of arrival.   

I also have a related interest in the spatial dimensions of minority-majority relations, researching in particular Jewish shtetls of Eastern Europe, the ‘ghetto’ of London’s fin de siècle East End, and, most recently, ‘Jewish’ suburbs of North London, and sites connecting Chester to the British Empire..

I have also conducted research into the reception of other immigrant groups in Britain, and was recently the recipient of grants from both the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the presence of and response to Belgian refugees and combatants in Cheshire between 1914 – 1919. This research connected to a larger co-convened community engagement project Diverse Narratives of Cheshire during the First World War https://diversenarratives.com/ which successfully sought to disseminate minority histories beyond academia by way of schools outreach, digital dissemination, and a series of touring ‘pop-up’ exhibitions hosted in dis-used city centre commercial spaces.   

I am currently the lead for a collaborative cross-departmental outreach project ‘A Global History in One City’ which looks to showcase the truly global significance of Chester’s long and rich past. This project comprises a documentary film series (featuring colleagues from across the department), blog posts and a website, and resources for schools. It has been featured on BBC Radio, in the national press and as part of the Chester Heritage Festival.   

I can offer  postgraduate supervision in most areas of late nineteenth and twentieth century social and cultural British history, but especially topics which focus on immigration, empire and colonialism, and minority studies.

Published Work

Books:

H. Ewence, The Alien Jew in the British Imagination: Space, Mobility and Territoriality, 1881 – 1905 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

H. Ewence and T. Grady, (eds.), Minorities and the First World War: From War to Peace (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

H. Ewence and H. Spurling (eds.), Visualising Jews through the Ages: Literary and Material Representations of Jewishness and Judaism, (London and New York: Routledge, 2015).

H. Ewence and T. Kushner (eds.), Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies? (Edgware: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011).

Journals:

H. Ewence and T. Kushner (eds.), Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies? Special issue of Jewish Culture and History, vol. 12, nos. 1-2, (Winter 2011).

H. Ewence and H. Spurling (eds.), Image Conscious: Jewish Visuals and Visualising Jews through the Ages, Special Issue of Jewish Culture and History, vol. 12, no. 3, (Winter 2010)

Articles:

H. Ewence, ‘When they Get to the Border’, History Today, vol. 70, issue 12 (December 2020) https://www.historytoday.com/archive/history-matters/when-they-get-border  

H. Ewence, ‘Belgian Refugees in Cheshire: “Place” and the Invisibility of the Displaced’, Immigrants and Minorities, vol. 36, no. 3 (2018), pp. 232-257.

H. Ewence, ‘Blurring the Boundaries of Difference: Dracula, the Empire and the Jew’, Jewish Culture and History, vol. 12, nos. 1-2, (Winter 2011), pp. 213-222.

H. Ewence, ‘The Jew in the Eruv, the Jew in the Suburb: Contesting the Public Face and the Private Space of British Jewry’, Jewish Culture and History, vol. 12, no. 3, (Winter 2010), pp. 477-486.

Book Sections:

‘Bridging the Gap between ‘War’ and ‘Peace’: The Case of Belgian Refugees in Britain’, in H. Ewence and T. Grady (eds.), Minorities and the First World War: From War to Peace (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 89-116.

H. Ewence, ‘‘Hands across the tea’: Renegotiating Jewish Identity and Belonging in Post-war Britain’, in M. Diemling and L. Ray (eds.), Boundaries, Identity and Belonging in Modern Judaism, (London: Routledge, 2015), pp. 148-161.  

H. Ewence, ‘The Jew in the Eruv, the Jew in the Suburb: Contesting the Public Face and the Private Space of British Jewry’, in H. Ewence and H. Spurling (eds.) Visualising Jews through the Ages: Literary and Material Representations of Jewishness and Judaism (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), pp. 137-152

H. Ewence and H. Spurling, ‘Introduction: Visualising Jews: An Introduction to Literary and Material Representations of Jewishness and Judaism Through the Ages’, in H. Ewence and H. Spurling (eds.) Visualizing Jews through the Ages: Literary and Material Representations of Jewishness and Judaism (London and New York: Routledge, 2015), pp. 1-13.

H. Ewence, ‘Memories of Suburbia: Autobiographical Fiction and Minority Narratives’, in J. Tumblety (ed.) Memory and History: A Guide to Working with Memory as Source and Subject, (New York and London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 160-176.

H. Ewence, ‘Blurring the Boundaries of Difference: Dracula, the Empire and the Jew’, in H. Ewence and T. Kushner (eds.), Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies, (Edgware: Vallentine Mitchell, 2012), pp. 221-230.

H. Ewence and T. Kushner, ‘Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies? In Search of Contexts’, in H. Ewence and T. Kushner (eds.), Whatever Happened to British Jewish Studies, (Edgware: Vallentine Mitchell, 2012), pp. 1-28.

H. Ewence, ‘Between Daydream and Nightmare: Fin de Siècle Jewish Journeys and the British Imagination’ in G. Alderman (ed.) New Directions in Anglo-Jewish History, (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2010), pp. 1-24.

Public History:

H. Ewence and T. Grady, ‘Global Chester: The long arc of history concentrated in a single city’, Inside History Magazine (Autumn 2021, forthcoming)

H. Ewence with P. Hirst, ‘Chester’s Legacies of Empire’, January 2021, YouTube: https://youtu.be/2ttLZtRLVBA

H. Ewence, ‘Chester’s Legacies of Empire’, University of Chester, December 2020 https://www1.chester.ac.uk/news/chester%E2%80%99s-legacies-empire

In Preparation:

Article: ‘Moving Out to be ‘In’: The Suburbanisation of London Jewry, 1900-1939’

Article: ‘Where Black Lives Matter? Making Space for the Imperial Past in a Small City Setting’

Qualifications

BA (Southampton); MA (Southampton); PhD (Southampton); SFHEA.